Sunset on the shore of Mykonos, Greece

From the beaches of China's southern shore all the way to the cobblestone streets of Colombia's capital, we've got the best places to take advantage of July's summer heat.

For beach bums

Short haul: Capri, Italy

Capri may not be the all-star of the European isles, but it’s a fan favourite, with a bit more personality than widely adored Santorini and Sicily. Sophisticated, glamorous and subtly luxurious, holidays to the island appeal to discerning travellers and celebrities alike. Sandy beaches aren’t a thing here, due to the country’s rocky coastline, but the water is glorious. Marina Piccola and Bagni Di Tiberio are two of the island’s best swim spots.

Capri Blue GrottoCapri's Blue Grotto is one of the world's most famous sea caves
Creative Commons / Jun

Frequent trips to the easily accessible Blue Grotto sea cave are available, and most resorts have private pools for travellers to take a dip in. Even though it’s not part of the mainland, the Italian culture and influence are apparent in Capri’s cuisine, with an overwhelming choice of decadent dining – like tubettini con cozze (handmade pasta with mussels, cherry tomatoes and a parsley garnish) – and some of the world’s best seafood.

Long haul: Sanya, China

China doesn't often top most people's lists of beach destinations, but perhaps that’s because they aren’t familiar with the temperate climate (averaging 29°C/84°F in July) and lush tropical surroundings of its southern shore. Sanya’s Yalong Bay can go toe-to-toe with any of the postcard-worthy beaches of French Polynesia or the Caribbean. The handful of resorts along the shore are home to some gourmet restaurants and shops, but venturing into the city usually guarantees more satisfying and authentic eats.

Sanya China BeachChina's southern shore is tough competition for the beaches of the Caribbean
Creative Commons / Igor Kirillov

If you can tear yourself away from the sand for a few hours, Sanya offers plenty of cultural immersion as well. Binlang Ethnic Village and Baiyue Ethnic Cultural Village recreate the unique surroundings, sights and smells of some of China’s tribal communities. Nearby Haitang Bay is equally picturesque, and usually less crowded too.


For city slickers

Short haul: Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos Greece Mykonos is the perfect blend of city life and island paradise
Jenifoto / Thinkstock

If partying while on holiday is your top priority, Mykonos is your ideal destination for a short haul. Daytime in the city is stereotypically Mediterranean – relaxed and scenic – but the city shows its real colours at night, when beach bars become the backdrop for rambunctious all-nighters, and nightclubs keep their doors open into the wee hours, just in time for a quick snooze before a satisfying Greek breakfast at local hotspots Café Malama or Kikis Tavern.

Before round two in the evening, you can spend the afternoon strolling through the heart of Mykonos, Matoyianni Street, or check out 'Little Venice', the area where many of the city’s best restaurants and nightclubs can be found. Like all of the Grecian isles, the beaches are pristine, and the perfect place to recharge your batteries in preparation for another all-nighter.

Long haul: Bogotá, Colombia

Bogota Colombia Street Art The works of local artists line Bogotá's colourful streets
Creative Commons / Pedro Szekely

Bogotá is finally shaking off the seedy rep that kept it off tourists' radars for decades. It is now a cultural centre, redefined by its world-class art and architecture, sumptuous cuisine and jaw-dropping natural landscape. Tour the city centre, La Candelaria, taking in the presidential Palacio de Nariño and the 200-year-old Museo Nacional de Colombia (National Museum). The neighbourhoods of Zona Rosa and Macarena are great for afternoon shopping, dining and nightlife.

Get in touch with your artistic side, with a visit to one of the local contemporary art galleries – The Warehouse Art and Neebex are top picks – or simply walk along the dozens of graffiti-lined streets, covered in murals and street art good enough for any exhibit. Live music venues are peppered throughout most of the city, but Andrés Carne de Res and El Sitio, legends in their own right, make for great evening entertainment.


For thrillseekers

Short haul: Slovenia

Soca River SloveniaKayaking the Soca River is just one way to get adventurous in Slovenia
Bepsimage / Thinkstock

Slovenia has yet to reach the international prowess of neighbouring Italy and Austria, but fortunately that’s kept holidays to the region affordable. A great outlet for the adventurous spirit, Slovenia’s rural landscape is known for its diversity. Hikers can traverse the Alpine Trail and its nearby canyons, water lovers can choose fast-paced, white-water rafting or more lax kayaking and canoeing, while the most-visited cave in Europe, Postojna, is also within the nation’s borders.

Aside from good times for adventure lovers, Slovenia has gotten attention for its amazing wine, boasting the oldest vine on earth (400 years), which is still pumping out the goods. Tourist farms, meanwhile, are popular with visitors, offering accommodation and homemade meals for passers-by.

Long haul: Nicaragua

Nicaragua VolcanoForget surfing on water, boarding down a volcano's more exciting
Creative Commons / Molly Wolff ; Pete / Thinkstock

If surfing on water has gotten a bit boring for you, head to the Central American country of Nicaragua, where volcano-boarding (yes, that’s surfing down an active volcano!) has become a favourite excursion for the adventurous visitor. Trips to the region are basically a two-for-one, with great beaches and weather that’ll satisfy your laid-back side as well. You can choose to hike, kayak or zipline in the colonial city of Granada, a 45-minute trip from the capital of Managua, or if you’re brave enough, take a trip to the Corn Islands and dive with the big guys – hammerhead, bull and nurse sharks, and marginally less frightening sting rays.

To see as much of the country as possible, consider day trips to different cities or an adventure tour. Many tourism companies are able to arrange transportation, lodging, itineraries, guides and translators for guests.


Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.